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How do additional alternatives affect individual choice under uncertainty?

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  • Jim Engle-Warnick
  • Javier Escobal
  • Sonia Laszlo

Abstract

We show, in an artefactual field economics decision-making experiment, that the addition of an alternative to a choice set can affect the measurement of farmers' risk preferences in rural Peru. We found that an alternative that would normally be considered irrelevant was chosen in Peru, and that it affected choice between other alternatives. In Montreal, the irrelevant alternative was not chosen, but also affected choices between other alternatives. Comparing choices made in Peru with those made in Montreal, we identify beliefs and cultural characteristics that are likely to lead to these results.

Suggested Citation

  • Jim Engle-Warnick & Javier Escobal & Sonia Laszlo, 2009. "How do additional alternatives affect individual choice under uncertainty?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(1), pages 113-140, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:42:y:2009:i:1:p:113-140
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    Cited by:

    1. C. Bram Cadsby & Jim Engle-Warnick & Tony Fang & Fei Song, 2014. "Psychological Incentives, Financial Incentives, and Risk Attitudes in Tournaments: An Artefactual Field Experiment," Working Papers 1403, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    2. Arnaud Reynaud & Stéphane Couture, 2012. "Stability of risk preference measures: results from a field experiment on French farmers," Theory and Decision, Springer, pages 203-221.
    3. Jim Engle-Warnick & Sonia Laszlo, 2017. "Learning-by-doing in an ambiguous environment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 55(1), pages 71-94, August.
    4. Kaywana Raeburn & Jim Engle-Warnick & Sonia Laszlo & Jian Li, 2016. "Learning in a Bandit Game and Technology Choice," CIRANO Working Papers 2016s-47, CIRANO.
    5. Kaywana Raeburn & Jim Engle-Warnick & Sonia Laszlo, 2016. "Determinants of Food Consumption Choices: Experimental Evidence from St. Kitts," CIRANO Working Papers 2016s-43, CIRANO.
    6. Engle Warnick James C. & Escobal Javier & Laszlo Sonia C., 2011. "Ambiguity Aversion and Portfolio Choice in Small-Scale Peruvian Farming," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-56, November.
    7. de Haan, Thomas & van Veldhuizen, Roel, 2015. "Willpower depletion and framing effects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 47-61.
    8. Kaywana Raeburn & Jim Engle-Warnick & Sonia Laszlo, 2016. "Resolving Ambiguity as a Public Good: Experimental Evidence from Guyana," CIRANO Working Papers 2016s-41, CIRANO.

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    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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